by Amy Yen, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
It’s busy and confusing at the Red Cross Multi-Agency Resource Center in Garland. There’s a wait to talk to a case worker, but Dorinda Robinson doesn’t mind.
“I’m certainly not complaining. We’re thankful for the help,” Dorinda said.
She is waiting with her mother Wanda, 81, who can’t be missed in her bright yellow Lakewood Centennial High School Patriots sweatshirt. A week ago, Wanda was watching a movie at her Garland home with her other daughter, but the phone kept ringing.
“My sister told me by the third call, they were getting mad, because the movie was getting interrupted,” Dorinda explained. “They assumed it was telemarketers.”
The calls, it turned out, were from the City of Garland, informing them of the imminent tornado threat. Wanda and her daughter finally checked their phone after the third call and immediately took refuge in the bathroom.
“30 seconds later, the roof came off,” said Dorinda. “You can’t take a step in the room they had been in now, there’s so much furniture and debris. The chimney came down on the couch they had been sitting on.”
Grateful to be safe and unhurt, Wanda and her daughters have more thanks to give.
“The amount of volunteers who have come out to help us has been very humbling. We wouldn’t have been able to save anything if it weren’t for the volunteers.”
Volunteers helped Wanda salvage small treasures in the rubble, pots and planters and statues.
“My mother had a wonderful garden,” said Dorinda.
“It’s been overwhelming how much kindness we’ve been given. We live in a good country. It reaffirms your faith in people.”
After their experience, it’s no wonder a little waiting doesn’t faze the Robinsons.
“I have no complaints. Everyone is courteous and friendly,” said Dorinda with a smile. “We got hugs everywhere.”
To help people like Wanda who have been affected by the Garland tornado and other disasters, visit RedCross.org/Donate. To volunteer, visit RedCross.org/Volunteer.